Sunday, November 20, 2011

Mormon 1:13-14

13 But wickedness did prevail upon the face of the whole land, insomuch that the Lord did take away his beloved disciples, and the work of miracles and of healing did cease because of the iniquity of the people.  14 And there were no gifts from the Lord, and the Holy Ghost did not come upon any, because of their wickedness and unbelief.

The Holy Ghost doesn't just come automatically.  There are laws that govern it.

Wickedness, iniquity, unbelief.   Then 1. The Lord takes away His beloved disciples. 2. The work of miracles cease. 3. Healing ceases. 3. There are no gifts from the Lord. 4. The Holy Ghost did not come upon any.

I wonder if the people thought themselves wicked, or dwindling in unbelief, or having iniquity.  I would venture to say they would deny such things.  Maybe even call the speaker of those words semi-apostate.  We know that unbelief has to do with religious error.  It's not that the folks referenced here are not religious, it's probably that the erroneous beliefs were either wrong, incomplete, or misleading, which leads to iniquity, and causes wickedness.

For me personally as I've tried to align with the Gospel and seek it's blessings I've had to identify my beliefs, as well as those of the prevailing culture.  I have come across far too many that were misleading, far too many that were incomplete, and far too many that were not correct. It's an ongoing process.  I cannot exclude myself or presume I am so different than people in the book of Mormon.  Mormon says wickedness prevailed.  Meaning it was widespread, dominant, existed everywhere.  Maybe even had more strength (number wise) than the truth.  

When something is so predominant sometimes there is a tendency to presume that the thing in question must be correct.  When you pass billboards for the 200th time selling lies and vanity, you get used to it.  When the outer appearance is worshiped, the shopping malls become the "place of worship".

I wonder what widespread, dominant, incorrect attitudes and beliefs are circulating nowadays?  Errors that would cause a lack of miracles, healing, gifts from the Lord, or for the Holy Ghost to not come upon any, or a general lack of the presence of the Lords beloved disciples.  Are any of these wicked things on our tv?  Are they in our schools?  Can you see any iniquity when you drive downtown? Or are we blind to it all?  Do you think there are any perverse teachings that weave their way into our religion?

Instead of miracles the people will trust "in the arm of the flesh", and fall in love with pharmaceuticals.  Instead of the "Holy Ghost" people will rely on the military, their own learning, and education.  It may begin to appear as though someones 'marketplace worth', equals their 'self worth'. Instead of beloved disciples who follow Christ, there will be great honor and respect given to men with high office who cannot err and who are the only ones that possess the keys of Eternal Life.  Initially some of these things wouldn't appear "wicked" because they are so prevalent.  But they are....

This all reminds me of the Lords words: “And again, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings,…yea, O ye people of the house of Israel, … yea, how oft would I have gathered you as a hen gathereth her chickens, and ye would not.”  (See 3 Nephi 10:5)

It's easy to become numb to the wicked nature of something when your up to your ears in it, or have never been told the smog we breath is filthy.  When the God's gifts slowly die out, some may presume they were never real to begin with.  That would be awful.

Pres. Benson: "The type of apostates in the Book of Mormon are similar to the type we have today. God, with his infinite foreknowledge, so molded the Book of Mormon that we might see the error and know how to combat false educational, political, religious, and philosophical concepts of our time.…"
—“The Book of Mormon Is the Word of God,” Ensign, May 1975, 63–65.

For some, (Mormon's example) despite the prevailing errors, they take a different path and breath pure fresh air.  More next verse.

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